Q Why is it in News ?
A. Recently, Project DANTAK which is one of the oldest Projects of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) commemorated its Diamond Jubilee in Bhutan.
Q What is Project Dantak ?
- Project DANTAK was established on 24th April1961.
- It was a result of the visionary leadership of the third King of Bhutan and then Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru.
- DANTAK was tasked to construct the pioneering motorable roads.
Q What have been major achievements of Project Dantak ?
- Road Connectivity: Over the years, the Project has completed approximately 1600 km of blacktopped roads and 120 km of tracks in Bhutan with 5000 meters of bridges over them.
- Other Projects Executed: Include the construction of Paro Airport, Yonphula Airfield, Thimphu – Trashigang Highway, Telecommunication & Hydro Power Infrastructure, Sherubtse College, Kanglung and India House Estate.
- Medical and Education Facilities: The medical and education facilities established by DANTAK in far flung areas were often the first in those locations.
- Food Outlets: The food outlets along the road introduced the Bhutanese to Indian delicacies and developed a sweet tooth in them.
Q How are relations between India and Bhutan ?
- Indo-Bhutan Relationship:
- Indo-Bhutan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1949:
- The Treaty provides for, among other things, perpetual peace and friendship, free trade and commerce and equal justice to each other’s citizens.
- In 2007, the treaty was re-negotiated, and provisions were included to encourage Bhutan’s sovereignty, abolishing the need to take India’s guidance on foreign policy.
- Multilateral Partnership:
- Both of them share multilateral forums such as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal), BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) etc.
- Economic Partnership:
- Mutually beneficial hydro-power cooperation with Bhutan forms the core of bilateral economic cooperation.
- The 720 MW Mangdechhu was commissioned in August 2019. HEPs namely, 1200 MW Punatsangchhu-I, 1020 MW Punatsangchhu-II and Kholongchhu HEP (600 MWs) are under various stages of implementation.
- India is Bhutan's largest trading partner.
Q What are functions of Border Roads Organisation and when was it formed?
Border Roads Organisation
- BRO was conceived and raised in 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for coordinating the speedy development of a network of roads in the North and the North Eastern border regions of the country.
- It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.
- It has diversified into a large spectrum of construction and development works comprising airfields, building projects, defence works and tunneling and has endeared itself to the people.
Q What has been some recent achievements of BRO?
- Atal Tunnel: It is located in Himachal Pradesh’s Rohtang pass. It connects Solang Valley near Manali to Sissu in Lahaul and Spiti district.
- Nechiphu Tunnel: Foundation stone was laid on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Daporijo Bridge: It is over Subansiri river in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Kasowal Bridge: It is over Ravi river. It connects Kasowal enclave in Punjab along the India - Pakistan border to the rest of the country.
- Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie Road: It connects Leh via the villages of Darbuk and Shyok at southern Shyok River Valley, with the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) post near the northern border.
- Barsi Bridge (longest bridge on Manali–Leh highway): It is built on Bagga river, which joins with Chandra river at Tandi in Lahaul to flow down into Jammu & Kashmir as the Chenab.